Why Are You Making it Harder on Yourself?

Do you ever read an article and it’s “bang-on” with what you are experiencing?That is what happened to me when I read this article on www.themuse.com.  

Here’s a quick snapshot of 4 Ways You’re Making It Harder Than It Needs To Be:

  • Outdated process
  • Everybody’s stamp of approval
  • Forgetting previous feedback
  • Planning for every scenario

 

It simplified a lot of what I experience as a virtual assistant. My introductory calls always get into similar themes:

  • No time to learn new tech stuff
  • Stalled or delayed because of uncertainty or indecisiveness
  • Too much time planning and not executing

 

Now, we know that we can plan all we want but until we execute, there’s no money coming in! But if there’s no action – there’s definitely no sales! So let’s keep this short and sweet.  Stop making it harder on yourself and start taking the right action.

Find a team that will make you accountable, will listen and offer good feedback and keep you accountable.  Keep a journal of previous feedback and planning ideas for future reference.

But most of all – stop making it hard on yourself!

Reach out – build your team! You’ll feel so much better and you’ll be surprised that greater success is within reach!

Are You in the Cloud?

After my last blog, A Dog, A Lake and An iPad, I had a few inquiries about cloud storage and backups.  Hmmm, who would have thought that my experience would prompt a bit of fear in others!  So I’ll take advantage of those inquiries and share a few details on clouds and backups.

Clouds – A magical place, not on your actual computer, where you can store files. The 3 most common ones are Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox. They are all very similar in the way they store files. Some have a greater storage capacity than others, some have a fee for more storage. Benefits to cloud storage:

  • The files are not on your computer so if your computer crashes or is lost/stolen, the files are still accessible.
  • In most cases, you can access the files from other devices or computers. So if you are travelling and you want to access a file, you can do so.
  • You can use them as a back up – keep files on your computer but sync to a cloud as well. This is not a replacement for a full back up, but it does help to keep a second version of the files.

Backups – An absolute MUST DO for everyone with a computer. There are various ways to do a back up. It’s best to talk to a tech person to set one up properly so that your entire computer is backed up – which would include your software, settings, and files.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you have automatic back up to iCloud so be sure it is set up.

And, finally, some people have asked me about OneNote.  OneNote is an electronic notebook. It is a great way to save notes and data in a notebook format. As with Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox, you can have this saved in a cloud and access the info anywhere.

My upcoming Computer Clean Up Challenge will provide support in using clouds and OneNote to clean up your files, make them more easily accessible and help you stay more productive.  Sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook to be sure you hear of the start date and the special early bird sign up offer!

 

We’re Adaptable, Reliable and We Make You Happy

Being an executive assistant for over 30 years, and now working as a virtual assistant, I’m always reading articles about the admin profession. I’m passionate about what I do and my goal is provide the best support I possibly can.

I came across this article recently.  Although it’s a few years old, it’s written really well and can easily be adapted from personal assistant to virtual assistant.

Being an assistant, to me, is a balance between cheerleader and partner – working alongside you to give you the best support for your success!

10 Things that Personal Assistants Do Better Than Anyone

by Bonnie Low-Kramen for Estate & Manor Magazine | August 14, 2015

The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” – Steve Jobs *

It’s about love.

The great assistants all love what they do. They unabashedly and unapologetically love their work in support of others. They blow off comments like, “You’re just an assistant,” because they know better. Personal assistants are some of the brightest, most organized and resourceful people on the planet. That is why not everyone is cut out for this demanding work. They are very far from being “just” anything. The smartest people in the business world know to invest in the true power of the assistant.

I worked for 25 years as the personal assistant to Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis, and I loved it. Yes, I said it. Friends would say that I was one of the only people they knew who genuinely loved their job. That always struck me as important feedback as I observed how often the world treats assistants with disrespect. That happened to me too. Working with a movie star did not make me totally immune. Now I teach Be the Ultimate Assistant workshops for assistants all around the world and I want to share some universal truths about this thing we call love. These apply whether it is an assistant in Maryland or Malaysia or any point in between.

Here are the top 10 things that assistants do better than anyone else:

  1. They are relentlessly adaptable. They love the variety the job offers and that no two days are ever the same which makes it easy for them to shift gears at a moment’s notice.
  2. They love a challenge. “No” is usually not an option. True confession: I used to play a game at work called “How few emails or phone calls in the shortest time will it take to get this answer?” I won if it took three or less in five minutes or less.
  3. They underplay their power. Looks can be deceiving. The assistant has the ear of her manager and wields tremendous influence. Do not underestimate this. Seriously.
  4. Making people happy is their goal. Going above and beyond is SOP. Personal assistants have an innate desire to please and to figure out the myriad of ways to do that. Assistants are born with a “service heart” and receive great pleasure and satisfaction from being supreme implementers.
  5. They read minds. They usually need a clue or two. A look on their principal’s face or the way a fellow staffer responded at the staff meeting. Great assistants are clairvoyant and truly know when “it is a good time” to approach the boss, and more importantly, when it is not. Anticipating what needs to be done is their gift.
  6. They love to put out fires and bring order to chaos. The assistant is the go-to person in any crisis whether it is prepping for Hurricane Sandy or untangling a meeting gone haywire.
  7. They are master jugglers. The best assistants enjoy managing 12 invisible balls in the air and are able to handle #13 and #14 too. Just give them a fresh cup of coffee.
  8. They are hungry to learn. Assistants know that they need to commit to life-long learning in order to stay at the top of their game. Smart CEOs and business leaders recognize this need and invest in their assistant’s professional development.
  9. They are connected. Resources are an assistant’s best friends. The best assistants have the widest and deepest networks. They know the magic power of relationships to get it done…now.
  10. They yearn to make a difference. Assistants are the ultimate enablers for their managers and companies. It gives them great pleasure to see the results of their plotting and planning. They don’t need a lot of feedback. A little goes a long way.

If fully utilized and are well managed, assistants are the eyes and ears of their principals and can be the powerful secret weapons of every household and estate.

10 Things that Personal Assistants Do Better Than Anyone

 

Is it time for a Virtual Assistant?

When I tell people that I’m a virtual assistant, I almost always get a reply of, “oh, I need you!” That is a great feeling – to be needed. And that is a wonderful way to start a conversation about the “needs”.

So when does a business owner really need a virtual assistant? My answer is usually the same … it’s all about time. When you find you are spending time doing administrative work but could be doing something else. What is that something else?

  • It could be more time to connect with your clients or prospective clients to generate a larger revenue.
  • It could be more valuable time with your family.
  • It could be more time to investigate a new venture or create a strategic plan for growth.
  • It could be that the administrative work has grown to a larger time commitment due to increased business.

It’s really different for everyone. It’s all about return on investment. What is the “time” worth to you and what are you willing to pay to get that time back?

Often letting go of a few small things is the best way to start. It can lead to greater growth and prosperity as well as peace of mind. Give up the monotonous tasks and you find a new level of love for what you do!

If you think you’re in need of more time, think of what tasks keep you from it and let’s chat!